I've lived in Korea for about 6 months now (wow!) and these are a couple things I have learned, about the country and myself...
- You can pretty much get across any message with hand gestures and mime.
- I can eat a whole plate of spaghetti expertly with chopsticks... and wash it down with some good ole' sweet pickles.
- There are many variations of kimchi and my palate can tell the difference between a good one and a bad. And of course on vacation outside of the country, I somehow ended up at the one restaurant that had kimchi and piled it on my plate.
-I will forever flinch when turning on the sink in the bathroom in fear that I forgot to switch the faucet from "shower mode".
-Go with the flow in Korea, don't ask too many questions, usually the answer won't make sense anyway.
- I enjoy being the only westerner in my school, when I walk down the halls I feel like the celebrity that I always wanted to be.
- Even if that huge chunk of meat looks delicious, there will ALWAYS be rice noodle inside.
- Brushing your teeth after lunch rocks.
- Squat toilets are much more natural than a nasty western toilet, when hovering is a must. Don't forget to BYOTP!
-Soju is great that night. Not so great that morning.
- My experience is different than every single other teacher's, comparing will only make my life worse.
- Bowing when greeting someone is cool. I like it and will continue this lovely sign of respect upon return stateside. You have been warned.
- Korean counting on the beach is a fun sport! How many matching couples can you spot?
- Coffee shops, double story McDonalds (that deliver 24 hours a day!) Baskin Robbins and Dunkin Donuts are THE place to see and be seen. Obviously.
- There are only two kinds of nights out. Catching the last subway home... or the first one the next day.
- Drinkable yogurt is yummy AND entertaining.
- English is taking over the world. If it didn't provide me with such a great job and travel experience it would be a tragedy.
- Animals shows are the best ones to watch in Korean. Doesn't matter what they are saying when a monkey and bulldog are grocery shopping together.
<- Samsung and Hyundai also make groceries and have department stores. They are the best companies in the world, ask any Korean.
- Even though sometimes this country feels so similar to home, it only takes an ajosshi pissing in a subway terminal or totally confused student to bring you back to reality.
A nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.